This is a lesson which can be learned in the classroom as well as the athletic arena. Countless times as an athlete and as a coach I have felt as if our preparation for our competition went above that of our opponent and was the primary key to victory. Certainly there have been times that weren’t the case, but as someone that competed on mostly under-dog teams, it became the only way I knew how to succeed. What a great character building lesson for life!
2)No Rain, No Rainbows
Our athletic dreams and journey towards them no doubt will include adversity and failure. No rain, no rainbows is a great way to capture the beauty in adversity and how the end result of that adversity can be something tremendous. Young people need to understand where losses, failure, and adversity belong in their story – simply as stepping stones towards a great end. Without that rain, the sunlight would not be able to create the rainbow!
3)Happiness is a Voyage, Not a Destination
Often times our athletic journey and dreams are pointed towards a destination – varsity team, athletic scholarship, Division I athlete, professional athlete, championship won, etc. I can’t tell you how many times people have reached those destinations, only to look around and still be unhappy. The joy is in the journey! This perspective will develop the type of character that can handle both success, and failure.
4)The Easier, to be Good – the Harder, to be Great
This is a great one for those naturally talented athletes for which success comes easily and often at a young age. With God’s gifts comes the responsibility to hone them and develop them to their fullest, which is not easy! That is where the greatest challenge exists for those that are naturally gifted.
5)The Harder You Work, the Luckier You Get
As competitors, often times in athletics it becomes easy to attribute others’ success or opportunity to “luck”. Well, that excuse gets thrown out with this character lesson! Instead of finding jealousy or envy in our hearts when others succeed and we aren’t sure why, we can simply lean on the fact that if we continue to work hard, we will get luckier along the way. Don’t wait for opportunities to come your way, go work for them!